Winrock International

Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Winrock matches innovative approaches in agriculture, natural resources management, clean energy and leadership development with the unique needs of its partners. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world.
Jun 2, 2015

Confronting Challenges with Creative Solutions

Small and medium-scale farmers face a variety of market challenges, from consistent buyers to dependable crop insurance to food safety certifications. In our work, we acknowledge these diverse challenges facing farmers and strive to connect them with the tools and resources that are appropriate for their unique circumstances. Ultimately, we ask the question, how can we get good, healthy food into local and regional economies so that both the farmer and the community can thrive?

Our NGFN webinars are one way that we begin to address this question. We ensure high quality webinars with expert panelists on a wide range of topics on sustainable food systems. We welcome all those interested in food systems – from the consumer to the farmer – to participate in our webinars, ask questions, and learn something new from the experts and each other. If you’ve attended one of our webinars in the past, or are interested in the one of the future topics, please consider continuing your support or pledging today!

Our recently aired webinars:

April 16, 2015: Discerning Pallets: Grower’s Experiences Selling to Food Hubs

For recording, slides, presenter bios and more, visit this webinar’s full page here.

For this webinar, we have assembled farmers representing a wide variety of experiences – different geographies (CA, MT, MI, and MA), different sizes (from 8 to 400 ac.), different products (vegetables, animals, and mixed) … who sell into different kinds of food hubs (non-profit, for profit, growers co-op) asking different services from them (simple transport, sell-through, and selling to the hub).

Each of these farms has different reasons to work with their local food hub. What works for them? What doesn’t work so well? How do they choose what to sell through the hub? We’ve asked these farmers to share their unedited experiences and advice with their fellow farmers across the country who might now be considering a relationship with a food hub.

Learn how they chose to start selling to the hub, why, what the hub demands of them, what they get in return, how they are managing risks, and how their business' bottom line has been affected.

 

May 14, 2015: Crop Insurance for Small Farms: A Crash Course

For recording, slides, presenter bios and more, visit this webinar’s full page here.

Crop insurance is a critical part of a comprehensive risk management strategy. Matching operations with crop insurance options is important. In addition, identifying and matching a farm's overall business goals to other insurance tools is an important step in the growth and sustainability of the operation. 

Learn about crop insurance options, what it means to be in an insurance contract, how to think about the best options for your farm, or the farms that you advise and work with.

 

Our upcoming webinars:

June 18, 2015: Creative Financing for Food

Register now!

Is access to capital holding your food business back from thriving? 

Whether you run a farm, food hub, processing facility, retail store, co-op or shared kitchen this webinar will introduce you to new and creative sources of capital.

 

August 20, 2015: One Page Cost Benefit Analysis Tool

Register now!

Making decisions that make good financial sense is difficult. But difficult decisions become a whole lot easier when you have the right tool to walk you through the financial implications of your decision. 

Meet the One Page Cost Benefit Analysis Tool. Recently created by Farm Credit, this tool is designed to make your difficult purchasing (or other financial) decisions a little easier.

Join us to learn how this powerfully simple tool can help your business today, or how you can use this tool to assist the farms and other business owners you work with.

May 26, 2015

Priming for Success at Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets and locally grown food are increasing in demand, while new farmers markets are being established and existing markets are growing and expanding. The Arkansas Farmers Market Vendor & Manager Training was held in Hope, Arkansas recently. The training was aimed at educating farmers, vendors, and market managers. To ensure longevity and sustainability of the farmers markets and local food systems, the vendors and managers who participated would in turn be able to increase the profitability and success of the farms and the markets they sell through.

The training featured two tracks: one 6-hour training for market managers and a separate 6-hour training for market vendors. Over 65 attendees participated, coming from the local Southwest Arkansas area to as far as East Texas, Cabot, Jonesboro, and Little Rock. The manager training including speakers presenting topics on market management, grant writing to source funding for markets, utilizing the SNAP program at market, promotion of markets through the web and specific social media programs, state legislation surrounding markets and food safety, and incorporating activities at market to involve the community and bring in more customers. The market vendor training also utilized experience speakers from Arkansas and Texas to cover topics including state legislation, post-harvest handling, marketing and profitability, beautifying your market display, increasing sales at market, branding your local food, and food safety. The primary goal of the training was to help markets and market vendors attract more customers and increase profitability at their local farmers markets. Door prizes such as a large chalkboard easel, cash boxes, market display baskets, chalkboard paper, a logo design for one winning farmers market, farm profitability books, money deposit bags, and more. The training was hosted by the Arkansas Women’s Business Center, Winrock International, the US Department of Agriculture, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope/Texarkana. Participant evaluations were overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, and a follow-up evaluation will be conducted with participants in mid-summer to determine the value of the training on the market season.

Apr 24, 2015

Dowswell Scholarship Program

Dowswell Scholarship Program
Dowswell Scholarship Program

April 2015 Report for Global Giving

 

During the second year of the Christopher Dowswell Scholarship program all fifteen scholars are making good progress. Five scholars are in their second academic year. In this second year the Fund provides a laptop for each scholar to help them research as much information as possible. In Ethiopia, a laptop was hand delivered to Ms. Gedamu, a scholar at Bahir Dar University. We are pleased to relay her thank you note to all supporters of the Dowswell Fund.

 

“Yesterday, I received an HP Laptop that you send me with the help of Dr. Mutimba.

I would like to say thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Really, I admire your true support. It is unbelievable. God bless you! I have not any better words, which explain my feelings.”

I have completed this semester course. Then, I will send my results as soon as the university will give me these. Thank you very much!”

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